Ramadan 2022: UAE’s new COVID-19 rules for Iftar tents

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Health authorities in the United Arab Emirates have announced the new COVID-19 safety rules and procedures for Ramadan tents for the upcoming holy month, marking the first time that iftar tents are permitted since the pandemic’s onset in 2020.

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Each Iftar tent will need to obtain a permit from the Emirates Red Crescent and will be allowed to open two hours before Iftar time (Maghrib call to prayer) in an effort to safeguard the population by reducing crowding, the National Crisis and Emergency Management Authority (NCEMA) and its main partners said on Monday.

Occupancy levels and the use of the AlHosn app to enter Iftar tents are yet to be determined by each emirate. So far, having green status on the app is still mandatory to enter public places in the UAE’s capital city of Abu Dhabi.

Tent guests must maintain physical distancing and keep masks on at all times unless eating or drinking. Face masks and hand sanitizers will also be provided to guests in each tent. NCEMA also asked that guests try to avoid shaking hands with others.

Some other guidelines include the use of open-air tents and disposable table covers, plates, cups and cutlery.

“This comes in line with the national strategy to maintain public health and safety in light of the resumption of various public activities, and in support of the tireless efforts made at the country level to achieve sustainable recovery and restore normalcy,” NCEMA said in a statement carried by Emirates News Agency WAM.

Ramadan is expected to begin on April 2, pending confirmation by the country’s moon-sighting committee, and end on May 1 this year, with Eid al Fitr most likely to fall on May 2.

The Gulf country relaxed its COVID-19 rules at the end of February, altering some long-standing directives regarding masks, travel, quarantine, and PCR testing protocols.

The UAE has reported an average of 341 new COVID-19 infections per day, according to coronavirus data from Reuters, with 885,983 cases and 2,302 deaths reported since the pandemic’s onset in the country.

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